I thought I might chase The Ethical Werewolf's notes on The People's Money with a snapshot of The People's Debt.  I've been following this story for several months, and I've noticed that it doesn't get much air time.  The essence is simple.  Assume the Republican Party makes all of its recent regressive tax changes permanent (but does not go farther down that path) and then only increases discretionary spending with GDP (by among other things, not debt-financing colonial adventurism).  By 2040, almost every penny that the Federal Government takes in goes just to pay the interest on the national debt.  For those who are curious about what that looks like, there's a chart below the fold.

That's not my opinion.  That's the opinion of the General Accounting Office, based on a middle-of-the-road set of assumptions.  And yet, the Republican Party talking points are that Social Security is bankrupt because in 2042, the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted, and the amount of money then coming in earmarked for Social Security will only be enough to pay between 70% and 80% of the then-scheduled payments (again, based on a middle-of-the-road set of assumptions).

If the Republicans can't tell the difference between these two situations (and apparently, they can't, or they'd be far more worried about the General Fund than Social Security), they really shouldn't be trusted with the The People's Money to run the government.  Frankly, The People should probably think twice about whether the Republicans can even be trusted with The People's Ten-spot to buy The People a six-pack at Circle K.

- paperwight